Will launches bid to be Green mayor

Wigan and Leigh Green Party chairman Will Patterson
Wigan and Leigh Green Party chairman Will Patterson

A Wigan political activist has launched his campaign to be the Green Party’s candidate in the elections for Greater Manchester mayor.

Will Patterson, chair of Wigan and Leigh Green Party, became the second person from the borough to throw his hat in the race after Leigh MP Andy Burnham was announced as Labour’s candidate.

Mr Patterson is one of four candidates bidding to be the Green Party’s name on the ballot papers after being backed by activists from across Greater Manchester.

His bid to be the Mayoral candidate was backed by members of the social-democratic environmental party from Wigan, Bolton and Trafford.

Mr Patterson has previously been an outspoken critic of Devo Manc, of which having an elected mayor for the region is a key part, but says he is now running to ensure the concept is made to work and listens to the concerns of ordinary people.

He said: “I’m delighted to confirm my bid for the Green Party candidacy, and for the mayoralty of Greater Manchester. Barring a half-hearted attempt at regional devolution by Tony Blair and John Prescott, the area has had to endure three decades of shambolic governance from a combination of 10 borough councils, a range of unaccountable quangos and Westminster politicians 200 miles away from the concerns of the people of Greater Manchester.

“I’ve been one of the harshest critics of the Devo Manc project: I’d rather have seen devolution on a North West scale, I’d rather there be an assembly built on co-operation and consensus, and above all, I’d rather the people of Greater Manchester had been given a proper say on how we are governed.

“But after 30 years of the current system, it’s clear that we need change. We can’t afford for this to fail and to wait another 30 years for a better model to turn up. We need to make devolution work today, and improve it as we go.

“I intend to stand on a clear platform: while the other parties are contend to hand power to the cities, only the Green Party will hand power to the citizens.”

Mr Patterson, who has previously stood as a candidate to be Wigan’s MP and for a seat in the council chamber, will compete against Adam King, Deyika Nzeribe and Emma Sarah van Dyke to be the Green Party’s candidate.

The ballot of party members closes on September 11.